Wanderlusting: Maine Lighthouse Tour
“Lighthouses are endlessly suggestive signifiers of both human isolation and our ultimate connectedness to each other.” ~ Virginia Woolf
Setting the Record Straight, I am a New Mainerd
I only took one trip in 2020 which depresses my wanderlusting heart to no end. But ya know pandemic life. And this truly WAS a trip. I know most people are confused by the fact that I go to Maine ALL the time, but I live in New Hampshire. BUT there is a pandemic going on, so I am being irresponsible. Etc etc. First of all I am not and second of all, Let me clarify something real quick.
I literally live ten minutes from the Maine border. I can be driving and find myself in Maine without even realizing it. Many people who live in the Maine town that is just over the state line, come to MY town to do shopping, get groceries, and even work here. And many people in my hometown also work over in Maine and go there for a wide array of reasons. I am closer to a lot of Maine beaches more so then I am to New Hampshire Beaches, (plus Maine Beaches are way nicer, not going to lie) and the kicker, I am much closer to the Portland Jetport, and use to fly in there (well I still do if we were traveling again, but digressing) over New Hampshire airports which are easily two hours away. Oh and all my doctors are in Maine. I could go on and on and on. But essentially I am a New Mainerd. New Hampshire and Maine have a unique bond at least where I live, and not once during the pandemic did these two states shut their borders to each other. In fact it felt like much of the time we were lifting each other up as neighbors do.
With that cleared up, I had been going to Maine all year, as that is where I shoot much of my content. (taking all the necessary precautions of course) That being said it never felt like much of a vacay, especially since I do day trips. My best friend lives up near Mount Desert Island (home to Bar Harbor) and I had seen her once in August. We talked about it and after taking the necessary precautions, I took a weekend off to go visit her. It is about a five hour drive, and I wanted to make the most of the two days I had with her so I decided to drive up Friday and check out some lighthouses that I hadn’t seen, before spending the night in the Midcoast a region, an area I didn’t know very well. Anything above Cape Elizabeth is no (wo)mans land and I was so excited to explore it.
I mapped and remapped out my drive to give me the most optimal amount of Lighthouses without over doing it. Because yes there can be such a thing as to many lighthouses, especially when you are driving. I decided to take Route One which is the “Scenic drive” while you are driving along the ocean you also don’t see it much. I actually liked it much better then taking the I-95 Highway as were was not as much traffic nor crazy drivers. I am still getting my drivers legs under me after years of living in NYC.
One factor I had to consider when deciding on lighthouses was that while the lighthouses were “On the way” many of them added at least an extra forty minutes to and from as I had to drive down to the peninsulas where they are located and then come back up and continue on my merry way. Because of that, I unfortunately couldn’t visit ALL of them, as such as I wanted too. Two of them I actually visited on my way home just because it was more feasible.
Pemaquid Point Light
I made an executive decision that instead of Doubling Point being my first lighthouse, as I had originally planned, Pemaquid Point would be. It was the right decision. Pemaquid is just under three hours from my hometown, and I knew I would be needing a break but the time I got there. It was easy to get there especially driving along Route 1. Located in Bristol, Maine, the lighthouse is surrounded by the Pemaquid Point Lighthouse Park. There is a three dollar entrance fee to get in and a large spacious parking lot. There is a museum though due to COVID was shut down as well as bathrooms. You can walk all around the lighthouse and the former Lighthouse keeper’s (which is now the museum) corridors. there are grassy areas to picnic as well as a small sandy beach and all the rocks to either sit and/or climb over. A surprising feature that the grounds manager told me about was that you can also STAY in the lighthouse. Yes please! It wasn’t to busy when I was there, though there were a lot of school groups. I took some pictures and then headed out.
The next lighthouse on my list is one made famous by Hollywood. If you have ever seen Forrest Gump, you know exactly what I am talking about. (Run, Forrest run!) It is located in Port Clyde, Maine and has a light keeper’s house which has been turned into a museum that is only open in the summer. I love this lighthouse not because of it’s movie fame, but because of the access bridge connecting the lighthouse to land. It adds the uniqueness and charm of the lighthouse, especially since you can walk out to the tower and take pictures, which y’all know I did!
This just might be my favorite lighthouse on my tour. (if you couldn’t tell) Located in Owls Head Maine, it is located on a 13 acre stretch of land in Owls Head State Park. It is a bit of a trek to the lighthouse but so insanely worth it. I even walked it in heels! There are signs to guide you and it is incredibly scenic. If you wanted too you can even stop and take a dip in the ocean as there are beaches. Once you reach the lighthouse there are winding stairs as well as a ramp you have to walk up. And at the very top is the lighthouse! I can’t even put into words how amazing the views were of the harbor. I took so many pictures and if I didn’t need to check into my hotel, I would have stayed there for hours. It is definitely one of my favorite lighthouses to date.
I debated mentioning the Rockland Harbor Breakwater light, but it DOES count. I just didn’t get up close and personal with it. I was actually staying in a neighboring town so this really WAS on the way. Much like Owls Head though, it is a bit of a trek and you have to walk on the break water to get t it. This was the most crowded lighthouse and because there were so many people walking the breakwater I decided to pass. I would love to go back and get more pictures. Next time!
Technically this was on my way BACK from my weekend with my mertwin, but just a small technicality. As I mentioned earlier I am so happy I waited, because it was an adventure getting out here. First of all the drive was LITERALLY what serial killer movies are made of. It was all narrow dirt roads literally out in the middle of nowhere. A couple times I wondered if I shouldn’t turn back, but then there was no place TO turn back too I kept going. I should also add this was like seven in the morning. It was worth it, kind of. When I got to the lighthouse which was literally at the end of the long dirt road, I was greeted by gorgeous views. It was pretty. But I was also greeted by a dog that I wasn’t sure if it was friendly or not and no owner in sight. I waited awhile and the dog did trot out onto the access bridge. So I quickly got out and snapped some pictures though none of myself because I was nervous about setting up my tripod with the dog. It was definitely an adventure! Allegedly there is another lighthouse near Doubling, called Kennebec River Light, I looked for it, but could not find it and since I was literally driving in the woods (serial killer woods mind you) I finally cried uncle and gave up, because I was NOT about to break down there.
Aside from a couple moments where I wondered if I was going to encounter a serial killer, I loved exploring a new to me area of Maine, the Mid Coast, and seeing new to me lighthouses. There were so many more that I would love to see, like Hendricks Head Lighthouse, Fort Point lighthouse and Dyce Head lighthouse, to name a couple. But there is always next time, and I for sure will be back, maybe even sooner rather then later with the warming temps! The Midcoast is such a cute area and I can not wait to explore more of it!
Have you been to any of these lighthouses? What is your favorite lighthouse?